Study taxonomy and plantsmanship of fuchsia plants in this online course. Designed for the enthusiast or anyone wanting to grow them commercially. This course covers their culture, and propagation.

Course Code: VHT112
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to identify and grow Fuchsias


There are approximately 100 species of fuchsias and many thousands of hybrids and varieties.

They are native to Central and South America from Mexico to Patagonia. Some are native to Tahiti and Fiji.

Fuchsias can be classified into species, hybrids and varieties, or "alternatively" are sometimes grouped according to growth habit as follows:

  • BUSHES (also called small uprights).  These are low, strongly branching shrubs.
  • SHRUBS  These are taller shrubs or small trees, some of which can grow to 5 metres or more.
  • STANDARDS   Trained to grow on a single stem, or trunk; with branching commencing at no less than 79cm from the ground and no more than 107cm from the ground. The top is generally trained to form a well shaped round ball. Creepers (ie: rockery types) are sometimes grafted onto the top of a taller stem to produce a weeping standard.
  • ROCKERY PLANTS (Creepers or Basket Plants)   Fuchsias which spread out low to the ground, used in rockeries; sometimes used in baskets, spreading and hanging over the sides.
  • ESPALIER   The plant is trained to grow on a single two dimensional plane, either against a wall or fence, or using stakes in a pot.   
  • OTHER methods of training (like espalier and standard) are used to produce "Pyramid", Pillar" and "Fan" types.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • General characteristics of fuchsias
    • Information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs)
  2. Fuchsia Culture
    • Planting
    • Staking
    • Mulching
    • Watering
    • Pest & disease
    • Feeding
    • Pruning
    • Protection from wind etc.
  3. Fuchsia Propagation
    • Propagating and potting media
    • Methods of propagating this group of plants.
    • Stock plants
    • Softwood cuttings, Semi hardwood cuttings
    • Hormones
    • Creating the best cutting environment
  4. The Most Commonly Grown Varieties
    • Magellanica hybrids
    • Triphylla hybrids
    • Upright (bush or shrub) fuchsias
    • Tall growers (suited to standards)
    • Dwarf Fuschsias
    • Trailing Fuchsias
  5. Other Important Groups
    • Quelusia Fuchsias
    • Eufuchsia Fuchsias
    • Ellobium, Kierschlegeria, Skinnera and other groups
    • How to train a Standard Fuchsia
    • Creating an Espalier fuchsia
  6. The Lesser Grown Varieties
    • Various species fuchsias
  7. Making the Best Use of Fuchsias
  8. Special Assignment
    • On one selected plant or group.


  • Identify different Fuchsias
  • Describe the culture of Fuchsias
  • Propagate Fuchsias
  • Describe the identification and culture of commonly grown Fuchsias
  • Compare a range of commonly grown Fuchsia cultivars.
  • Discuss different lesser cultivated varieties of Fuchsias
  • Determine and explain a variety of ways Fuchsias may be used.
  • Discuss one aspect of Fuchsia cultivation in depth.

Using Fuchsias

Growing a healthy fuchsia is only half of the task involved in getting the most from these plants. You need to choose the most appropriate varieties, and combine them in the best way. You also need to think about other plants, pots, etc, to combine with your fuchsias, and how to place (and space) them.

Before you start, think about the affect you want to achieve; avoid combinations that clash or don’t achieve the desired affect.

Growing Fuchsias in Hanging Baskets

Fuchsias have long been the plant choice for hanging baskets. Trailing varieties, because of their naturally drooping habit when suspended, are the most popular (and the most desirable) choice, creating stunning displays as they cascade over the edge of the containers. Ball shaped hanging ‘baskets’ however can also be created from bushy cultivars.

Because fuchsias are so floriferous they are generally planted as single specimens (using several of the same cultivar per basket) however some people mix fuchsias with other plants such as annuals for extra effect ie. alyssum and lobelia etc.

The amount of plants you need per basket will depend on its size. You should aim to fill the basket as quickly and densely as possible – you therefore need several plants around the perimeter and one for the middle.

Water your fuchsias while they are still in their individual pots. Then place a good quality potting mix (to suit hanging baskets) in the bottom 1/3rd of the container. Arrange your plants evenly in the basket and fill the spaces around each one with potting mix; plant the outer ones first and lastly the centre one. Make sure the potting mix comes to about 2 cm below the rim of the basket. Top dress with a suitable fertiliser and water well then mulch the surface with pebbles (or other mulch), to hold in the moisture.

There are well over 100 species -How Many are You Familiar with?

Here follows a brief overview of some of the fuchsia species (Note: syn. – indicates ‘synonymous’ or alternative names that have at one stage been used, or are currently used, for a particular species).

F. alpestris (syn. F. regia variety)

F. ampliata (syn. F. ayavacensis)

F. andrei
From Peru and Ecuador.  Grows 1 to 1.8m tall. Flower colour is coral apricot to red. Foliage can be deciduous.

F. apetala (syn. F. hirstua, F. macrantha, F. unduavensis)
From Peru. Clusters of long tubular pink and white flowers.

F. arborescens (syn. F. syringiflora)
From Central America. Can grow as high as 8 metres as a small tree, but more commonly grown as a large bush. Large elliptic leaves create attractive foliage. Flowers are commonly small, rose-lilac in colour and occur in erect, terminal panicles.

F. austromontana (syn F. serratifolia)
From cloud forests in Bolivia and Peru.  Deciduous shrub to 1.8 metres tall with green oval shaped leaves. Avoid high humidity, extreme heat and drought. Mulch in areas with cold winters and avoid heavy frosts, but otherwise it is more cold-tolerant than many fuchsias. Prune back damaged foliage after winter. Berries are edible. Relatively hardy.
F. austromontana var. autumnale is a low growing, almost prostrate cultivar with leaves that start with green and coppery tones. As the foliage ages, the colours can become more vibrant. This plant is often grown in a hanging basket.

F. autumnalis
This species has no proper botanical standing; but may refer to plants such as F. austromontana var. autumnale that exhibit colours reminiscent of autumn foliage on deciduous trees.

F. ayavacensis  (syn F. ampliata)
From Peru and Ecuador. A spreading shrub to 3 metres tall. Leaves are large and have white hairs on the surface. Flowers are up to 6cm long, orange to red.

F. bacillaris
From Mexico. A shrub to 30cm tall and 60cm spread with rich pink tubular flowers and glossy black round berries. On the young growth, stems are red. In a very cold winter it can become deciduous; but otherwise remains evergreen.  If cut back hard, it normally regrows well in spring.

F. bohnstedtii 
This species has no proper botanical standing.

F. boliviana
Found in moist forests of the Andes including Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina at altitudes of 1800 to 3000 metres. An upright shrub to 3.5 metres tall; in cultivation it can develop an open or even sparse habit if not pruned. Susceptible to frosts, prefers semi- shade and needs moist soil. It grows in acid, neutral, or alkaline soils. Berries are edible. Long hanging tubular flowers can get to 8cm in length, deep crimson or lighter in colour and in panicle-like clusters. Leaves are soft and have a toothed margin.

F. bracelinea
Very hardy species, good rockery plant, flowers in summer.

F. brevilobis
From Brazil. Has soft leaves and red sepals.  Stamens and stigma can extend to double the length of the petals and sepals.

F. campii
From Ecuador. Has clusters of hanging pink tubular flowers with white tips.

F. compos-portoi
To 1.4m tall and 2m or more in diameter. Grows in full sun or light shade. Pink or red and purple flowers. Deciduous foliage. It is more heat-tolerant than many fuchsias. Foliage can die at minus 6 degrees Celsius, but roots will survive more than minus 12°C.

F. carnea
This species has no proper botanical standing; has been used to describe a low-growing plant with purple and red flowers.

F. cinnabarina (syn. F. reflexa)
Origin is unknown. Introduced into cultivation in 1829. A vigorous-growing species to 50cm tall with tiny orange-red flowers and attractive berries. Hardy to minus 5 degrees Celsius.

F. cinerea 
From mountain forests in Ecuador and Columbia. In cultivation it grows to around 1metre, but in the wild some plants are reported to be 2 metres tall. Clusters of hanging long pink tubes inside orange-pink sepals; wider at the tip than the ovary end.  Flowers to around 5cm in length. The plant flowers almost all year round. Large green fruits are edible, and have a slightly sweet taste.

Prefers partial or filtered sun; but not too much shade. Likes humidity at 40% or higher. Only tolerates very light frost. Can tolerate warm days if the nights are cool, but best to avoid extremes.

F. coccinea (syn. F. elegans, F. Montana, F. pendula,  F. pubescens)
From southern parts of Brazil. Sometimes confused with F. magellanica.  A fast-growing shrub to 3.5m tall. It flowers over summer into early autumn. Best in light shade. Red flowers. Fruit to around 1.7cm long is edible
 spaces in garden beds. Place them here to add colour to an otherwise drab pocket of the garden.  



  • Increase the number of Fuchsia species and cultivars you are familiar with.
  • Develop a foundation of framework for understanding different groups of Fuchsias. This will make it easier to learn, understand and retain information whenever you encounter new species or cultivars in the future.
  • Discover how extensive the study of Fuchsias can be - the more you learn, the more you will realize there is to learn.
  • Improve your capacity to propagate and grow Fuchsias in different places and different ways.
  • Begin to establish a reputation as an expert with Fuchsias.

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ACS is a silver sponsor of the AIH. The principal, John Mason, is a fellow. ACS certificate students are offered a free membership for this leading professional body.Provider.

Recognised since 1999 by IARC

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Adriana Fraser (Horticulturist)

Adriana has worked in horticulture since the 1980's. She has lived what she preaches - developing large gardens and growing her own fruit, vegetables and herbs and making her own preserves.
In 1992 she formalised her training by graduating with a certif

Marie Beerman

Marie has over 10 years in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie has been a co author of several ebooks in recent years, including "Roses" and "Climbing Plants".
Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M.Hort. Dip. Bus. Cert. Lds

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and edito

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